Reiko's Ramblings and Writings

What I'm reading and writing about lately.

IFComp 2016 Review: The Skull Embroidery

Posted by Reiko on November 23, 2016

This is a review of a game from the 2016 Interactive Fiction Competition. Scoring criteria can be found here.

The Skull Embroidery
Author: Jeron Paraiso
Format: Ruby

This is a homebrew text RPG in Ruby that had some considerable complexity but, unfortunately, also the amateurish nature of most homebrews. Beginning with amnesia, the story was very basic, and I noticed several spelling errors in the text (“waste” instead of “waist”, numerous it’s/its errors, etc) as well as outright bugs.

Most egregiously, I seemed to be able to generate as much roast insect meat as I wanted because the first time, the game took the green mushroom from me instead of the raw insect meat, and after that, it didn’t take anything at all. Resting was also supposed to increase hunger in addition to restoring health and applying experience, but I didn’t see any hunger increase. When I was fighting the spider and it bit me, I got a message saying “#<AR::Game::Player:0x2d42990> can feel the venom being injected.” Looks like a typo in the code, although I’m not familiar with Ruby so I can’t suggest what exactly might cause that.

I also couldn’t find any way to restore a save. I used the journal function that sounded like it was a save, but there was no restore option in the main menu, so I don’t know what good that did. Later I died in the cave from spider venom. I suspect green mushrooms might have been intended for making cure poison potions, but my mushroom was taken so I never found out.

The battle system, and indeed, the whole interface, is rather clunky, with numerous bits of information separated by “press enter to continue” prompts. Combat is randomized and turn based, but very slow, as you have to enter a letter to select a type of action and then a number to select a specific action.

After I died in the cave, I didn’t really have any particular desire to replay from the beginning again. I think I’ve seen enough. This could have used a lot more testing and editing before release.

Time: 20 min
Scoring: base 4, -1 for numerous bugs, -1 for numerous typos
Score: 2


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: